A regular sock protects our entire foot from the shoes we wear to keeping our feet warm when cold and wicking moisture away to keep it clean and dry. But a compression sock does all of this and much, much more. Many people choose to wear compression socks for comfort, give themselves an edge in athletic performances, and assist with many severe medical conditions and side effects.
Compressing socks improve your blood flow and lower blood pressure in the most fundamental scientific terms. They lessen pain and swelling in your legs and feet and can lower your chances of getting deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a kind of blood clot, and other circulation problems.
The question that might be on your mind is how, strictly, can compression socks lower blood pressure? The connection between compression socks and blood pressure can be found in how they improve our blood flow. Let's take a closer and fascinating look into how that works!
The Compression Sock
If you're new with us or need a refresher, compression socks are sometimes referred to as compression stockings, as socks of various lengths that apply pressure to promote better blood flow in your leg veins and help lower swelling. They're meant to be tighter at foot and ankle with lesser compression as they go further up the calf.
The pressure compression socks applied on your legs can assist your legs' blood vessels work better. The arteries that take necessary oxygen-rich blood to your muscles can relax, so blood flows more freely, and veins get a boost to pushing blood back into your heart. They can also be great for keeping your legs and feet from getting quickly tired or aching.
What Sort of Options Can You Find In Compression Socks?
The first thing you might notice about compressions socks is that many of them are described with a number followed by mmHg. This is a measurement of millimeters of mercury, similar to the measures found on a blood pressure cuff. This number represents the amount of pressure the sock will apply to your legs. The higher the number, the stronger the compression.
Compression socks will also come in different general sizes. To ensure the best fit, make sure to have your legs measured and to ensure you purchase high-quality compression socks from a well-reviewed, reputable company. If the socks are too loose, they will probably not relieve you of any swelling, achiness, or provide compression. If the socks are too tight, they will restrict blood flow and cause blistering.
Compression socks also come in various lengths to better cater to personal choice and comfort. The most common and popular sizes are knee-length, crew, ankle, and compression sleeves—which provide the same compression as a sock but leave your feet bare for footwear such as sandals and flip-flops.
Increased Blood Flow
Compression socks can increase blood flow. When you exercise, muscles and tissues will demand more nutrients and oxygen, which means your heart must work harder and faster to pump to meet those needs. The heart is a muscle, like our biceps, and the more your heart works, the larger and stronger it gets. Over time, the heart muscle can work more efficiently and push out larger volumes of blood with every beat.
Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). Normal blood pressure is roughly less than 120 mmHg for the top number (systolic) and less than 80 mmHg for the bottom number (diastolic). Becoming more active and wearing compression socks can help lower both top and bottom pressure numbers. Exercise also helps maintain a healthier weight which is another excellent means of controlling blood pressure.
What are the Benefits of Increased Blood Circulation?
Good blood circulation and flow are some of the most critical functions for our entire bodies. You can gain multiple benefits when you do your best to maintain a healthy lifestyle and take preventative actions to protect yourself from venous diseases, such as wearing compression socks.
- Maintain healthy blood and oxygen flow throughout your body, allowing your lungs, heart, and muscles to function better and more efficiently.
- Help fight off and avoid potential diseases and sicknesses. With better circulation, the white blood cells in your immune system are transported easier around your body as needed.
- Help maintain and keep organs functioning in optimal order, as efficient blood flow also boosts waste removal from the body that different organs create.
When Should You Wear Compression Socks?
For the best results, make sure you put on a pair of compression socks first thing in the morning right after getting out of bed and try to wear them until the end of the day. Compression socks help fight against gravity, especially if you spend a lot of time sitting with your legs down or standing upright in one place. These can both aggravate swelling, discomfort, and other symptoms in those who tend to suffer from vein lymphatic disorders.
If you suffer from rapid-onset swelling as soon as you are in an upright position, it may be easier to try and lay down with your legs elevated for a few minutes before trying to put on your compression socks.
If you know you will be standing and sitting for long periods while working or traveling, you should ensure to have your compression socks on beforehand.
Compression socks can be used to treat so many different venous and lymphatic disorders, help those with circulation problems, be a boon to those who work long hours on their feet, and provide many benefits to everyone. It's possible to lower blood pressure and promote healthier circulation when you use compression socks along with activity and treatment.